Kathi –

A report from Kenya 

Hello:) Jina langu ni Kathi, 19 years old and a volunteer at MMS. Recently I’ve been doing my gap year in Africa, which enables me to gain a ton of new experiences. I started my journey in Uganda in September 2023 and am now here at Make Me Smile – Kenya until May 2024. Every single day is a new adventure and filled with a lot of action and hard work. As MMS is very diverse I have been working with many projects such as Parmaculture, Safepark, Youth Friendly Centre and the Dreams Programme. Primarily, I am doing sessions regarding Childcare and Lifeskills with teenagers and young adults or I work in the Safepark with the children.

Now, I want to try and give you a glimpse into our work at MMS. In Kenya, every day is different and every day is special. As europeans are living more in the future and are thinking about what to do next, Kenyans are living in the moment. Somehow, there is less hurry, but still enough time to do everthing that is planned, which is very admirable. In Kenya things happen „pole pole“, which means slowly, slowly. Consequently, I am nearly incapable of telling you our exact daily routine. Hence, if there is no sudden change of plans, I mostly go to Mayenya, where most of our projects take place. Normally, I am picked with the van in the morning and together with my collegues I am driven to Mayenya, where I spend most of my time. As soon as we arrive there, I mostly get Mandazi (fried bread) and tea for breakfast and then start my work, such as planning workshops or sessions on the computer, doing activities with the children in the safe park or farmwork.


At lunchtime we go to eat at Mama Chapati’s:“Naomba chapati mocha ne dengu, tafadali!“ – Excuse me, I want to have one chapati (flatbread) with greengrams, please- . Afterwards, I go back to work until I join the children and teenagers in the safe park at 5 p.m to play football or volleyball. Mostly, they are talking the local language Luo, while I understand terms like:„Mzungu (the white) is playing like Messi“, which I think is the biggest compliment I have ever gotten. As soon as the car is leaving Mayenya, I always try to hurry to the beach in order to see the sunset, which often doesn’t work out, due to time issues. However, in the evenings, I mostly meet with friends and we go for dinner or to the bar to watch football. In Kenya, everyone is supporting his/her team and the bar is full of fans. Furthermore, we go to see local luo artists that are playing live music. Even though I don’t understand more than the refrain: „digidigidigi and tukutukutuku“, I am very amused by the music and sometimes we dance until morning.

What makes my time here so unique, is the passion and dedication that is brought to the field. Therefore I have been priviledged to meet many new, generous people, who I can already call my family. Moreover, I am learning a lot about myself and I am getting to know myself in a different way. I will never ever forget what I was allowed to learn here – these are experiences that last for a lifetime! 🙂 Oriti (Bye)